The Canadian market is considered one of the most promising, but it is still far from the full realization of the jurisdiction’s capabilities. In addition to its undiscovered potential, the Canadian gambling market is also famous as a Mecca for shadow gambling operators. Even though the country is advanced in many legislative aspects, the gambling industry was recently poorly regulated. The province of Ontario is the trendsetter for local betting operators. Read about the specifics of the gambling industry and the first legislative steps towards the legalization of single rates in Ontario and other provinces in the article.
Peculiarities of the Canadian Gambling Market
Canada is considered to be a promising market for gambling, not only because the citizens of the country are quite addicted, but also because of the high standard of living in the jurisdiction. Gambling is regulated by provinces independently. This determines the non-linear development of the gambling industry in the country. Among the funny facts characterizing the local market is that the key target audience for Canadian and international operators are the Irish, who make up 13% of the
In 1999, Canadians adopted the federal gambling law that has since been applied by provinces to meet their local needs. For example, in Quebec, you can make bets from 18 and in Ontario from 19. Some provinces allow the work of private lotteries, while in some lands, there are only state-owned companies. Virtual gambling was legalized at the federal level only in 2009. If you want to gamble on some of such sites, visit Сlash of Slots — a useful site to know the opinions of real players.
The punishment for participating in unauthorized gambling has never been applied to residents of the country just like the tax on winnings. However, some Canadians pay the state tax if they declare themselves professional players.
Mecca for Shadow Gambling Operators
Despite all the progressiveness of the country’s legislation, Canada has been one of the biggest shadow gaming markets in the world for a very long time. This is the reason the largest shadow sector of the economy has formed. The shadow operators themselves, who wished to preserve their anonymity, admit that all conditions have been created in Canada for their work and development. In this regard, Canada cannot be compared with strict European jurisdictions such as Sweden, Britain, Spain, or Italy.
Illegal market participants also notice that their development was facilitated by a high standard of living of citizens and high-quality payment infrastructure. Company representatives also add that Visa and MasterCard transactions by casinos have a high approval rate — 60-70%. The stability of the e-wallet operation, especially the most popular money transfer system in the country Interac, also contributes to gambling development. The government does not block payments, unlike
Norway or the Netherlands
Taking into account all the above, it becomes clear that the lack of proper regulation of the industry, most likely, negatively affects the protection of the rights of local citizens. Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) Executive Director Paul Burns says legalization will fill this consumer protection gap. Thus, the state, operators, and regulators will have a set of tools to ensure a more harmonious operation of the market. At the same time, one should not forget the economic factor of the gambling industry, which allows the regions to generously replenish the local budgets.
The Problem of Sports Betting Regulation
At the moment, it can be noted that the problem has been moved off the ground. Despite this, the desire to regulate the industry was announced only in one province — Ontario. The complexity of the situation lies in the fact that many residents of the country are convinced that the sports betting industry in the country is already regulated.
The situation is getting complicated because many gambling companies have an opportunity to advertise their brands, which provides them with at least recognition. Access to the audience by illegal operators is practically unlimited. American operators that develop their business close to Canada understand the specifics of the local market well and implement the culture and values of Canadian players.
However, only Ontario confirms its intention to open and regulate its market. The legal segment of the gambling industry is represented by the work of Ontario Lottery&Gaming (OLG) based on the PlayOLG online platform. However, according to experts, the operator’s activities can hardly be called successful. Meanwhile, British Columbia and Quebec ignored such an opportunity.
In cases similar to the current state of affairs in Canada, legalization is always considered the best solution for the state and the industry. At the same time, it is possible that the current market participants, fearing competition, may block the process. However, according to experts, this does not apply to current Canadian licensees.
BCLC is a company focused on the implementation of innovative technologies; it can be interesting and profitable for an operator to communicate with new market participants. Besides, the company will thus be able to scale its activities to other provinces that have legalized betting entertainment.
Experts also note that in the case of British Columbia, the desire of the province to follow the experience of introducing innovations in Ontario plays an important role. Most likely, Ontario’s regulatory system will be built according to New Jersey’s example. In the US state, land-based casino operators can delegate the right to provide services to B2C providers.
Anyway, the lack of legalization negatively affects the market consumers and regional budgets because the funds generated by gambling operators are leaking to offshores.
The Shadow Market Liquidation
Developing effective methods to combat unlicensed operators will be a top priority for Ontario. This means that it is necessary to apply tools to block illegal online platforms and payments. If Ontario manages to organize a market that will bring substantial profits not only to operators but also to replenish the regional budgets, it will motivate Quebec and British Columbia to organize their own local industries.